Minority moves another motion for vote of censure against Health Minister

Source The Ghana Report

The Minority in Parliament has initiated another private members’ motion to remove the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, over his role in procuring Sputnik V vaccines from Russia through a middleman.

According to Parliament’s Order Paper, the motion was backed by James Avedzi, Mubarak Muntaka, and Ahmed Ibrahim, among others.

The first motion was filed in February 2022 via a memorandum to the Speaker of Parliament.

According to the motion, Mr Agyemang-Manu undertook a business transaction as Ghana’s Minister of Health without the prior approval of Parliament, contrary to Article 81 of the 1992 Constitution.

The Minority accused the minister of signing the procurement agreement with the private office of Sheik Al Maktoum and S. L. Global Limited without the prior approval of Parliament or the board of the Public Procurement Authority under sections 40 and 41 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 673).

This, they said, constituted a criminal offence under the law.

The controversy over the vaccines began when a Norwegian newspaper, VG, reported that the government was using the services of middlemen to procure 3.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccines.

But this was at a higher cost of $19 other than the original factory price of $10 and prompted calls for the abrogation of the procurement contract. Mr Agyemang-Manu had earlier claimed that the state had not made any payments for the vaccine.

The Health Committee in Parliament had also said the government was not being ripped off in the deal, with its chairman Dr Nana Ayew Afriyie, saying the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the procurement of the Sputnik-V vaccines require the use of middlemen whose activities will increase the original price.

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